Personalities Option A: Hatshepsut
Personalities In Their Time: Option A- Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut is perhaps the most well-known Queen in Egyptian history. She ruled Egypt for nearly two decades during the beginning of the New Kingdom (18th Dynasty c.1473-1458 BCE) and her reign is viewed as being one that was both prosperous and peaceful. Hatshepsut was the only child of Thutmosis I and Ahmose. Her ascension to the throne began when she was appointed as regent for her nephew-stepson Thutmose III upon the death of her husband Thutmose II. In this position she wielded considerable power and influence until she eventually rose to the role of Pharaoh and exercised the full powers of Egyptian kingship as senior co-ruler.
In accordance with Egyptian ideological tradition, Hatshepsut represented herself as a male king and adopted the established ideology, iconography and social conventions of Egyptian kinship which functioned to bolster the legitimacy of her reign. Hatshepsut was fully accepted by the Egyptian populace as Pharaoh and her reign was relatively peaceful. It saw trade renewed with Asia, Punt and the Aegean Islands. Furthermore, her rule instigated a period of artistic creativity, monumental public building projects and the restoration of monuments that were destroyed during the political instability of the Second Intermediate Period. The most well-known monument constructed during Hatshepsut’s reign is her impressive mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri constructed near the Valley of the Kings near the modern-day city of Luxor.
Despite Hatshepsut’s reign bringing a period of political and social stability and economic progress, approximately twenty years after her death, all monuments and historical accounts which bore her name and image were destroyed. As a result, Hatshepsut was completely lost from Egyptian history until the mid-nineteenth century when she was rediscovered by archaeologists. To this day scholars debate the historical significance of Hatshepsut’s reign and the reason for her erasure from Egyptian history.
Image: Osirian statues of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri
- Binder, S. (2019), “Hatshepsut in 2019: New Sources and Interpretations”. Presentation given at the Macquarie Ancient History Teachers Conference 2019 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 6 May 2019.
- Roehrig, C.H., Dreyfus, R., Keller, C.A. (eds.) (2005), Hatshepsut From Queen to Pharaoh, New Haven. MetPublications from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, have provided free access to this fantastic publication which includes a number of informative essays from leading Egyptologist which cover the unique nature of her kingship.
- Brown, W. E., (2006), “The Queen Who Would Be King” Smithsonian Online Magazine.
- Pobric, P. (22 Jan 2018), ‘Unearthing Hatshepsut, Egypt’s Most Powerful Female Pharaoh’, Collection Insights.
- Musei Vaticani, Cat. 22780 Stele of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III, Online Catalogue.
- Galán, J.M., Bryan, M.B., Dorman, P.F. (eds.) (2014), Creativity and Innovation in the Reign of Hatshepsut – Papers from the Theban Workshop 2010, Chicago. There are a number of relevant papers relating to a variety of aspects of Hatshepsut’s reign and which complement specific aspects of the Focus of Study syllabus dot points.
- Brand, P, (2010), ‘Usurpation of Monuments’, in Willeke Wendrich (ed.), UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, Los Angeles, pp.1-13.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, 29.3.2 Seated Statue of Hatshepsut, Online Catalogue. On this page you will also find links to other objects relating to Hatshepsut that are housed within the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
- Brown, C. (April 2009), “The King Herself”, National Geographic. This article provides an easy to digest discussion of some of the key aspects of Hatshepsut, her reign and discovery.
- Riaud, X. (2016), “The Dental Identification of the Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut”, Journal of Dentistry and Oral Care Medicine 2:1, pp.1-3. This short article summarises the key aspects of the research project which identified the mummy of Hatshepsut.
- Mark, J.J., (18 July 2017), “The Temple of Hatshepsut”, Ancient History Encyclopedia. This article provides a detailed overview of the design, layout and significance of Hatshepsut’s monumental mortuary temple, Deir el-Bahri.
- Mark, J.J. (19 October 2016), “Hatshepsut”, Ancient History Encyclopedia. This article provides a detailed discussion of Hatshepsut’s rise to power, her life and reign.
- 360Cities uses a community of expert VR photographers who produce 360 photographs of significant sites. Here you will find a 360 photographic tour of Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple Deir el Bahri.